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Nature Does not Care What You Lie About or Think or Deny: Take Action

Unrepresentative Policy of the Week: Americans Feel Personal Responsibility to Reduce Climate Crisis 2020 was not just the year of the Coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters abounded, from massive firestorms, and prolonged droughts to powerful hurricanes and typhoons. Less than two months into 2021 and the year has started off with similar fanfare, most notably in the US manifesting in the harsh and devastating storms that have swept much of the Midwest all the way down into Texas. In Texas, we've seen a Pprfect example of how mismanagement of government, ignoring of science, and deregulation of vital infrastructure leads to human catastrophe when reality asserts itself. Perhaps we didn’t need another example on top of Covid-19 and all of 2020, but our crises won’t wait for us to resolve one before presenting the next challenge.

Fundamentally, the climate crisis is making extreme events like these occur more frequently, and with more devastating consequences. Case in point, our warming climate lessens the temperature differential between the equator and the Arctic, weakening the polar vortex and allowing freezing temperatures to penetrate into southern climates. As Americans are beginning to comprehend the consequences of climate crisis, not just as a theoretical exercise, but as a lived reality, people are reacting with both alarm, but also a feeling of personal responsibility. I feel a personal sense of responsibility to help reduce global warming. Agree: 64% Disagree: 36% That 2 in 3 Americans feel personally responsible to do something to mitigate the climate crisis, is a huge break through, and gives the sense that the American people understand this is a crisis, and it is going to take active intervention to improve the future. Unfortunately, Americans filter this impetus for action into individual framework, and so they ask themselves, “what can I personally do?” That impetus to act is positive but it needs to be reframed in a public and collective lens, seeing that in fact the most powerful thing one can personally do, is to act in the public sphere. Lobby your government, exercise power with your vote, putting the climate crisis front and center. Both the science and technology exist to take much needed action, the main lack is political will. Now is the time, to organize, and to capitalize on the urgency of the moment. We need to be learning the lessons of the crisis of today in order to prepare for the greater challenges of tomorrow. Now is the time to invest in green infrastructure, now is the time to change our systems, so that our personal choices can be climate positive without being onerous. It is a collective response that this moment calls for.

Our collective action can shape our government so that is rises to the occasion and actually looks after its people, instead of leaving them to freeze or be extorted by massive energy bills. The cynical exploitation in Texas by power companies, failing to upgrade their grids and then robbing people blind when they needed help most, is just the latest demonstration of what we already know: the predatory system that we have created, will not fail because of these crises, they are simply opportunities to exploit for greater profit. It will take economic, as well as political, power to counter act the selfish nihilistic tendencies, on display, and transform our system into one which addresses the issues we as a people feel responsible for. Help us channel collective action through don't shop on Tuesdays, every week until we our government works for all of us, rain or sleet, snow or shine. Don't Shop on Tuesdays!


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